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Hundreds across the country claim cash for bottles

Hundreds across the country claim cash for bottles in nationwide call-to-arms on plastic pollution

27th November, 2018

Wesley Market (Sandringham, Auckland) organiser Ina Patisolo hands out cash for bottles and gets people signing the petition

Hundreds of people across New Zealand exchanged empty plastic bottles for cash today as part of a series of pop-up events around the country, highlighting the need for a bottle refund scheme.

With ten different pop-up events located throughout the country in most major cities, organised by local zero waste campaigners, hundreds of dollars was given out in cash to the public.

Local organiser Ina Patisolo says the idea was to demonstrate how a bottle refund scheme would work and to drum up support for a petition heading to Parliament next week, calling for the introduction on nationwide scheme.

“Kiwis are behind this initiative - we had lots of people coming to bring us plastic bottles and cans and sign the petition; we’re all sick of seeing plastic littering streets and beaches and this is something we can do about it,” she says.

“We had lots of people say to us “why don’t we have this already?” - people get it; pocket money for picking up litter can only be a good thing for everyone.”

Plastic campaigner Holly Dove, who works for bottle deposit advocacy group The Kiwi Bottle Drive, says the nationwide day-of-action was all in aid of a greater cause - to get the government to establish a scheme here in New Zealand as a solution to plastic pollution.

“Bottle deposit schemes are getting real, tangible results around the world where they’re already been introduced - places like Germany have tripled recycling rates since getting bottle deposits and it’s an opportunity New Zealand can’t miss out on, especially if we want to get serious about tackling our waste crisis.”

“I love the idea of having a bottle deposit scheme here because it not only protects our beaches and marine life from toxic plastic but it also encourages onshore recycling and has benefits for the wider community in terms of fundraising and job creation.”

“It’s a win for us and our environment,” she says.

The group goes to Parliament next week to deliver their petition, calling for the introduction of a bottle deposit scheme, carrying the voices of thousands of New Zealanders with them.

“We hope the government hears our message loud and clear,” says Dove.


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